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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Defining Moment: Obama Campaign's Lies Over Dead Woman Catch Up To Them Very Publicly

By Susan Duclos

This very well might be the ad that costs Obama his reelection and the best part for Mitt Romney is he didn't have to spend a cent on it because it came from Obama's own supporter, Priorities USA, co-founded by former Obama White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton.

There are defining moments in all political campaigns where one side accuses another of lying, exaggerating, misleading, cheating or any other numbers of claims, but the Obama campaign team along with pro-superPAC Priorities USA Action, have all been caught redhanded, very publicly, lying about a dead woman.

Priorities USA  produced an ad using a man named  Joe Soptic, who is spotlighted telling the country that his wife died without health insurance after he was laid off from Bain Capital-owned GST Steel, attempting to tie Mitt Romney to the wife's death from cancer.

The backlash from the ad started before the actual ad started airing on television and not only from conservatives, but even liberal talking heads are declaring it "despicable", "remorseless" and saying it went "too far."

The Plum Line's Greg Sargent, far left liberal states " I think the ad goes too far."

If that is what liberals are saying, just imagine what conservatives are saying.

The topic matter and general attack, despicable as it was, isn't even the real story here.

The story is the immediate, knee-jerk reaction of the Obama campaign, where they instantly started lying about their knowledge of Mr. Soptic and his story, just to be busted by major news outlets, bloggers, online news media and more.

Lie One

For example, Politico quotes Obama campaign team members denying total knowledge, the provides evidence that not only did they know about the story, they hosted a call in May where Soptic told the very same story as he did in the ad.

Asked about the Priorities spot on MSNBC Wednesday morning, Robert Gibbs said he doesn’t “know the specifics” while Stephanie Cutter said on CNN: “I don’t know the facts about when Mr. Soptic’s wife got sick or the facts about his health insurance.”

And Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One that “we don't' have any knowledge of the story of the family,” according to Yahoo! News.

But Cutter hosted an Obama campaign conference call in May in which Soptic told reporters the very story featured in the Priorities spot.

Townhall's Guy Benson found the audio of that conference call, which you can listen to here, and he tells the exact same story, the one that Priorities USA Action used in their ad almost three months later and which Obama officials deny knowledge of.

Lie Two:

Then we get to the lies told within the ad, in where Soptic claims that after he was laid off from Bain Capital-owned GST Steel, he lost his health insurance and when his wife got sick she wasn't covered under his health insurance and subsequently died of cancer.

The truth of the matter which is being blasted across the Internet and major media like ABC News, is that Soptic's wife had her own insurance, was not dependent on his and she did not die until 2006, five years after GST Steel closed.

Via the ABC News link above:

Various fact-checkers has since pointed out that Soptic’s wife did not die until 2006, five years after GST Steel closed, and that she had health insurance coverage through her own employer for part of that time.......

CNN even fact checked the ad and finds it "outrageous" and "inaccurate."

 Lie Three:

While Bain is in no way responsible for poor Mrs.Soptic's illness nor death, and Mitt Romney had been gone from Bain many years before she was diagnosed and died of cancer, when Mr. Soptic was laid off, Romney wasn't even running Bain Capitol.

It was being run by one of Obama's top fundraising bundlers, Jonathan Lavine, managing director at Bain, who has bundled between $100,000 and $200,000 in contributions for the 2012 Obama Victory Fund.

Lie Four:

In a recent interview Mr. Soptic admits in a recent interview that before he was laid off, he was actually offered a buyout.

Lies aside, then we get to the question of the similar campaign ads, using the same individual by the Obama campaign and a pro-Obama superPAC, when campaign finance rules forbid outside groups from colluding with presidential campaigns.

Via ABC News:

"We have nothing, no involvement, with any ads that are done by Priorities USA. We don't' have any knowledge of the story of the family," Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One.

"As you know, campaign finance rules in that regard are in place for a reason," she said, referring to laws forbidding outside groups from coordinating with the presidential campaigns.

What that ABC News story doesn't report but another ABC News article does:

Obama has endorsed direct participation of administration officials in fundraising for the group [Priorities USA], funds that then help bankroll TV ads.

Flashback- Then-Senator Barack Obama, December 2007, on the topic of superPACs, via Politico:

"The fact is this is somebody who worked for John Edwards, for the last who knows how many years, who's a good friend and colleague of Edwards, who's now running a 527 that is running ads on behalf of John Edwards. [Laugh] You're telling me he has no influence over him? That's not true. If [Obama communications director] Robert Gibbs started running a 527 and I called Robert Gibbs and said, 'Stop running ads on my behalf,' are you suggesting I would have no influence over Robert Gibbs?"

Priorities USA co-founder Bill Burton is the former Obama White House deputy press secretary.

ABC News headline: "Obama Camp Won’t Disavow Ad Tying Romney to Woman’s Cancer Death."

The Daily Caller's Jim Treacher sums it up eloquently:

I can understand why a man who’s still grieving the loss of his wife would want someone to blame, no matter how baseless and illogical the accusation is. What I don’t understand is how anyone could exploit that man to try to cling to power.

But that’s the Obama campaign for you

It is hard to remember when just one controversial campaign ad turned into the defining moment in a presidential campaign, yet is quite possible, even likely, with the amount of major news organizations calling out this ad as outrageous, despicable, remorseless, etc..... that polling over the next few weeks will show that Obama's "likability" factor which is highly touted by liberals as his saving grace heading into the presidential elections, will be taking a major hit.